A middle-aged woman came to the Ren’ai Branch of Taipei City Hospital for medical care due to dizziness; she chiefly complained of suffering from dizziness for over one year. The dizziness would last for several minutes each time, and sometimes accompanied by blackout, facial numbness, headache, and chest distress during the onset of dizziness. The physicians evaluated the patient’s data and determined that her physical and nerve system were normal, but further examination showed that there was a big tumor near her right brainstem. Wang Yu-zhen, attending doctor of Neurology Department in Ren’ai Branch of Taipei City Hospital, says that dizziness is a very common symptom. According to some epidemiological investigations, dizziness is the third major symptom among internal medicine clinic patients, only next to chest pain and fatigue. About 15 - 40% of adults have experienced dizziness. There are many causes and the commonest cause is otological diseases, which account for half the dizziness cases. Besides, anemia, problems of the thyroid gland and cardiac valve, and other internal medicine diseases can also lead to dizziness. Moreover, some dizziness is caused by drug administration or emotional problems, but still 20 - 30% of cases of dizziness can’t be explained. The chance of suffering brain diseases is about 10%. Wang Yu-zhen suggests that long-term dizziness which can’t be explained or those with poor treatment effect shall be evaluated carefully. If the dizziness is combined with cerebral symptoms such as short loss of consciousness, double vision, drooping of the upper eyelid, vision loss, numbness on half of the face or body, distorted eyes and mouth, lisping, choking easily when eating or unstable gait, patients should turn to a neurologist for help, so as to avoid delaying treatment.
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